Nobody showed up. It’s my 36th birthday, and nobody cares to come here and celebrate it with me.
I’m definitely going to die alone. Which I honestly don’t mind. I’ve been by myself for as long as I can remember.
I was the valedictorian of my high school class. I received three medals during the graduation, but my parents didn’t make it. They didn’t get to see me up on the stage while the rest of my classmates applaud to my accomplishments.
I had an appendectomy five years ago. I went in and out of the hospital unaccompanied. I had no visitors, no flowers by my bed.
It wasn’t always awful. I was married for almost a year to a flight attendant named Mary. She’s pretty and smart. We tied the knot after only a week of dating. We thought it was love at first sight. Everything was going really well until she got promoted and transferred to Hawaii. I promised her I will follow after I finish Law School. The day of my flight to see her, I received a package at my doorstep. It was from her, a copy of our divorce papers. She’s still living by the shore in a beautiful house with a tall guy and two little girls.
I guess this is how my life is planned out. Me versus the World. Me alone.
I paid for the untouched food for fifteen people and went out of the restaurant. The disappointment and dismay decided to walk me home.
I passed by my old high school. It looks the same as if I never left. The signage which says “Children Crossing” is still bent. I did that when I was practicing my driving. I crossed the street and saw someone familiar sitting on the bench by the bus stop. Her black hair turned gray, and she’s wearing thick glasses now. That’s Ms. Watson, my favorite teacher. I found myself walk a little faster towards her. She then noticed me. As I get closer to her, she turned her lips for a smirk. I smiled back. She recognized me. I sat beside her and we catch up until her bus came. She got on the bus and I waved as she goes. Just then did I recall that the last time I saw her was on my graduation. Since my parents didn’t show up, she’s the one who awarded and gave me my medals. I know I have a picture of me and her during that day. I looked doomed while she’s standing on my side beaming like a proud teacher that she is. I missed Ms. Watson.
I continued my way home. I was by the hospital where I had my operation. People come and go in that building as if chasing something. Everyone seemed so busy. I felt hungry when I saw the hotdog stand on the corner. I barely touched the food on the restaurant. I ordered two german franks. As I was reaching for the ketchup, I felt a pat on my arm. I turned my back and saw a girl in white uniform. She smiled, showing two deep dimples on her cheek. It’s Suzanne. I checked her nameplate just to be sure. And I was right. This is the nurse on duty who took care of me before, during and after my operation. I remember I was frightened that day. I’m really not fond of doctors and needles. She patiently explained to me the procedure and answered all my weird questions. We said our pleasantries and talked while we eat our hotdogs. She’s on her second and I was on my third when her phone rang. She said she’s needed back in there. I paid for our orders and left. Suzanne is such a sweet girl.
I felt so full as I pace on the last block going to my house. It’s already 1 P.M. I noticed the LED “Open” light of Joe’s is on. I decided to stop by and get a beer. I saw Joe on his usual spot, behind the counter wiping glasses. This is the only bar in my area which is open at this time. I used to come here often. I walked across the bar. Joe saw me and opened my beer before I even ask for it. I sat on my favorite stool. We said hi to each other. We didn’t really talk until he handed me my third bottle. He asked, “How are you doing?”. I was a bit taken aback. It wasn’t the question, but it’s his voice. He sounded genuinely concerned. I finished my last beer before I answered him. I told him I was doing well and that I am busy with work. He told me about this upcoming Trivia Night on his bar, and he invited me to join. I suggested that to him six months ago, and I was pleased he decided to push through with it. It’s 3P.M. when I left. I was taking the stairs up to my floor when I realized how nice Joe was to me since I got that mail from Mary. He patiently listened to my heartbreaking stories when I was drunk. There was a time when I was so wasted I puked on his shirt and he had to take me up to my apartment. I thought Joe is a good guy.
I opened the door. And there I saw on my living room a banner which reads “Happy 36th Birthday” painted in blue ink. People are smiling and clapping. There they are – my parents, my brothers and their wives, my nieces and nephews, Buddy our dog, and some of my friends.
I failed to send the invitations.
Photo not mine. Credits to owner.